Trading internationally

We are here to help you grow your business through international trade and investment.


Whilst the countries of the Greater Mekong Subregion have an economy of around $200 billion, the economies of southeast Asia offer a market of more than 300 million people and a combined GDP of around $1 trillion. India adds a further $2 trillion. That is a huge market. Until covid, all the economies of southeast Asia were growing quickly and it is hoped that they will quickly resume their upward path. So now is an excellent time to be exploring how to take advantage of that growth.

PROFIT Accelerator offers a step-by-step approach to get a better grasp on what trading internationally means:



  • Cambodia is a centre of light manufacturing and its garment sector is already its biggest earner of foreign exchange. It has a thriving tourism sector.
  • Thailand already has an export driven economy but struggles to be competitive. But local consumers do not have much disposable income so the real opportunities are in selling goods and services out of the region.
  • Cambodia’s major exports comprise apparel, accessories, knit or crochet, and printed books; it imports fabrics, vehicles, wholesale yarn, cigarettes, electrical communication equipment and medicine;
  • India is a major exporter of information technology and business outsourcing services; imports include petroleum products, gold and silver, electronic goods and precious stones;
  • Thailand exports manufactured goods, electronics, vehicles, machinery, equipment, foodstuff, and agricultural produce, mainly rice and rubber; it imports electronic and machinery appliances;
  • Vietnam mainly exports electrical and electronic equipment, crude oil, coffee, footwear and rice and mainly imports fuel, electrical and electronic equipment, machinery and fabric.
  • By purchasing power parity, India is the world’s third largest importer of goods and services. However, trade between India and GMS is quite limited and so there are considerable opportunities, though it may well be that the best opportunities are in products that are not currently highly traded.


Smaller businesses have some important advantages over their big business counterparts. They tend to be more creative, more responsive to their customers, and certainly more adaptable. Faster decision making, greater flexibility and direct personal contact with top management are factors that can be very attractive to international customers. Smaller businesses can and do succeed in trading internationally given the right product or service, a positive attitude and a structured approach.

As you start to think about whether you want to trade internationally, you will need:

  • to identify what it is that you hope to gain by becoming an international trader;
  • to evaluate your personal and business objectives in relation to your trade development;
  • to conduct appropriate and thorough market research;
  • to evaluate your target markets
  • to plan an international trade market visit;
  • to produce an effective international trade market entry strategy and plan;
  • to sell and promote your products in international markets; and,
  • to decide, ultimately, if trading internationally is right for you.

As will be clear, committing to trade internationally will require hard work, though ultimately will also be very rewarding.

There is considerable help available however. The PROFIT Accelerator programme is designed to assist businesses wishing to explore international trade opportunities. It takes a step by step, hands on, practical approach to international trade, leading you through setting your objectives, planning and conducting market research, identifying target markets and planning your market entry strategy.

The initial outcome will be an international trade action plan, a practical working document to guide your international trade initiative – and the ultimate outcome will be that you have started to trade internationally.

2. Learning about trading internationally

As you explore the opportunities for international trade, you will want both to learn about the techniques and approaches to be able effectively to trade internationally, to learn about the requirements and regulations for your chosen markets and to research your chosen markets.

For further information, download our factsheets:

If you would like to explore further, sign up for our training course:

  • Planning to start trading internationally
    Understanding the importance of sound planning and clear objectives; considering the planning cycle; and addressing strategic and personal issues that will impact on the business when developing international trade.
  • Researching the market
    Taking a systematic approach to the research tasks that need to be carried out in preparation to trade internationally. You will need to evaluate target markets though there are a range of export, import and market information resources available.
  • Market entry strategies
    Ideally you will want to prepare an effective international trade marketing plan and entry strategy to maximise your impact. This will potentially include working with partners including commercial agents, protecting your intellectual property rights, the advantages and disadvantages of direct and indirect exporting, licensing, franchising, joint ventures, and the extra developmental and operational costs that result from trading internationally
  • Sources of finance
    You may already have the resources that you need, but most businesses need to seek additional credit to cover their increased working capital needs.
  • Mission
    As you start to develop an international trade strategy you will want to consider visiting your potential market and to network with prospective customers, suppliers, partners and others.


Once you have learnt about your target markets, you will want to put together an action plan to guide your activities as you start to trade internationally and potentially to persuade a financial institution to provide you the credit or credit guarantee that you need.

For further information, download our factsheets:

If you would like to explore further, sign up for our training course and seek advice and guidance from one of our mentors:


Most businesses will need to raise finance to cover their additional working capital requirements and will also want to insure themselves against non-payment. Raising finance will require a plan – with a clear forecast of the financial requirement – to persuade lenders and financial institutions. PROFIT Accelerator can introduce you to a range of financial institutions.

For further information, download our factsheets:

If you would like to explore further, seek advice and guidance from one of our mentors:

Explore further and register your company
If you think that this programme could help you, read the trading internationally
and accelerate pages and then register with us.